Abigail Dell’Orto

Abigail Dell’Orto holding award

CCPS-Produced Student Film Receives Attention at Several Film Festivals

Ready, a short film directed by St. John’s University alumna Abigail Dell’Orto, has garnered rave reviews at various international film festivals throughout the last year. The film was produced by St. John’s students during the 2017–18 academic year as part of the Television and Film Senior Project course taught by Alla Baeva, Associate Professor, Division of Mass Communication, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies.

Ready has been considered by more than a dozen of domestic and international festivals, winning several awards, including Semi-Finalist for Best Student Film, Los Angeles CineFest; Honorable Mention—First Time Director Award, Los Angeles Film Awards; as well as nominations for Best Male Actor at the Spring Shorts Film Festival, and Best Student Film at the International New York Film Festival

The film tells the story of college students Maggie and Johnny, who must deal with the challenges of an unexpected pregnancy. “From the beginning, this production was full of challenges and surprises,” Prof. Baeva noted. “The result is a beautiful, wise, mature story.” 

Abigail Dell’Orto graduated in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Film, and since then has written and directed a one-act play for St. John’s University’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theater Honor Society. Most recently, she served as a Production Assistant for the Catholic Faith Network.

Joshua Cajas, who served as director of cinematography, editor, and sound designer for Ready (in addition to playing a role in the film), graduated from St. John’s University in May of 2018, also receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Film. Upon graduation, he was accepted into the CBS Page Program, working on shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, while continuing to freelance and hone his craft on projects for Ultimate Fighting Championship and New York Life Insurance Company. He currently works full-time at CBS Sports.

Producer's bio: Allison Reindel is a television and film production student with a minor in International studies. As someone who ultimately wants to be a film producer, she is excited to work as the producer for our short film. Her interest for media production started when she volunteered for her church's media team In high school. Allison loves to travel and try new foods so she hopes her future career allows her to do those things. For now, she is excited to work with an amazing team to create the best project possible.

“With the arrival of Prof. Baeva, our Television and Film program has become very robust,” noted Basilio G. Monteiro, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor, Division of Mass Communication. “Our students are creating high quality work, and increasingly participating in film festivals. We take great pride in our faculty—many of them award winning film producers—and students who devote their creative energy to developing visual, artistic, and aesthetic talents.”

Truth, another short film produced by St. John’s students, has been selected for submission during the festival cycle of 2020.